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Please talk to me about blood tests and babies!

(33 Posts)
RGPargy Wed 10-Sep-08 15:07:36

DD had a reaction to peanut butter the other week so i took her to my GP and he has told me to take her to the hospital for a blood test.

I'm wondering how on earth they get a 9 month old baby to stay still long enough for them to put a needle into their little vein to get blood! Will she scream merry hell and will it make ME cry because she's distressed??

Reasurrances needed before i take her next week please!!

TheBlonde Wed 10-Sep-08 15:09:28

It will be okay, they will have staff who are used to taking blood from young children

AvenaLife Wed 10-Sep-08 15:12:46

Erm. I would ask the nurses to hold her and wait outside. smile They will hold her arm (or they'll get the student nurse to do this, it's all I ever did). At this age they don't normally give any numbing cream, the little one is cuddled with their hand behind your back and they use a butterfly needle to draw the blood. They really do scream, although it's more because they are held still and frustrated than anything else. The nurses will hold her for you and you can wait outside. She will be more upset if she knows that you are upset. They will be as quick as they can. sad

RGPargy Wed 10-Sep-08 15:38:56

Ugh!! I really dont want to put her through this but i know i HAVE to!!!

cuppachar Wed 10-Sep-08 15:39:27

DD had a blood test for the same reason at 7 months. It was taken by a phlebotomist who was v experienced at taking blood from little ones.

I held DD on my lap and the nurse did all the rest - entertained DD, distracted her, sang, made silly noises etc while holding DD's wrist firmly and taking the blood. She put some kind of numbing gel on first which I think must have been quite effective as DD was very quiet and calm even when she failed to get blood out of her right arm and had to switch to the left. Near the end DD did start crying but the nurse was so calm and relaxed that I didn't feel stressed out or upset at all. The nurse suggested I try bfing DD while doing it, which helped for a while although not 100%! But as soon as it was over DD was perfectly happy - no lasting trauma!

BTW are they doing skin prick tests too? I was told at the allergy clinic I went to that they're more reliable than the blood tests for diagnosing allergies... DD had both and she showed up as being allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts on the skin prick test but only eggs and peanuts on the blood test, even though she definitely reacts to milk.

PinkTulips Wed 10-Sep-08 15:49:16

dd was 2 when she had one and they gave me some numbing cream and a bandage and that morning i had to put it on her elbow a couple of hours before the test.

when we got there they brought her straight in and had her sit on my lap and me to give her a cuddle and were very quick about drawing the blood.

she didn't seem to feel it at all but then she had her nose cauterised a few weeks ago and didn't show any reaction to that either! the nurse seemed very impressed with her staying calm and gave her extra toys for being so good so i guess they have alot of difficult babies and toddlers and are well used to dealing with it.

it'll be over very quickly and if you stay calm yourself and reassure her she'll pick up on that and be alot calmer than if you panic about it.

Scrooged Wed 10-Sep-08 15:55:01

It depends on your health authorities policy regarding the cream. The hospital I used to work in doesn't give it to children under 12 months (don't ask me why). It takes an hour to work and can cause a red rash in some children. It can also constrict the blood vessels so they are harder to spot.

RGPargy Wed 10-Sep-08 16:44:36

I'll be trying my hardest to stay calm and happy for DD. AFAIK, they're not doing skin prick tests because i asked the GP and he just said blood tests.

I really hope they're quick about it! I think i'll go Monday morning and get it out of the way quickly.

Hope they use the cream too, although i dont want to be waiting around for an hour before it kicks in!

Scrooged Wed 10-Sep-08 16:48:11

It takes 45 minutes for it to work. You can ask them if they can use it, it's called amitop. You can also buy it over the counter at Boots. It could irritate her skin though so I would be vary careful.

cuppachar Wed 10-Sep-08 17:08:31

Must have been something different they used for DD as we didn't have to wait for it to work, but they said it would numb the area a bit... unless I misunderstood!

Anyway, you'll be fine - after all I'm sure your DD has had loads of different jabs etc by now for immunisations. This isn't too much different and it'll all be over quite quickly. Good luck!

RGPargy Wed 10-Sep-08 17:12:51

I think i'm dreading it because when DS was about 3 he had to be hospitalised due to a bad strain of tonsilitis. They had to put a needle in his hand for a drip or something (it was 15 years ago and my memory is a bit foggy on that). Cue one 3 year old wriggling about, one worried mummy trying to pin him down with the nurses and doctors helping etc. Horrible for everyone all round!

tatt Wed 10-Sep-08 19:08:39

we were told the clinic had two things they could use - one fast acting but not as effective as the slower one. They may not do any tests at all, not everyone tests babies if the clinical history is strong.

RGPargy Wed 10-Sep-08 23:39:33

They're deffo doing a blood test, that's what i'm being sent there for!

pookybear Thu 11-Sep-08 20:38:21

Hi I took my grandson for a brain scan which needed him to have some dye injected via an artery/vein. To cut a long story short they couldnt get it in and it was the most dreadful ordeal. The nurse kept trying and trying as he screamed and screamed, they kept on and on as they needed to do this test. I nearly passed out there was blood everywhere and he was inconsolable. I only post this to warn you and not to frighten you, this must be the worst scenario, and I hope you and your child dont have anything approaching the trauma we went through. In the end they had to sedate him and put him to sleep to get the needle located and the dye in. Why they didnt do this at the beginning is beyond me in a baby so young, and just thinking about it now is bringing it all back. I wish you well x

wb Thu 11-Sep-08 20:50:04

The blood tests ds1 has always had are (RAST) ones where they just prick the end of the thumb and squeeze out a few drops. Quick and virtually painless smile So try not to worry, it may just be this.

misdee Thu 11-Sep-08 20:54:31

oh RG. i have to arrnage for dd1 to be seen at GP for referral to allergy testing after a peanut butter incident yesterday.

there is also a freezing spray they can use. they used the cream for dd3 before surgery last week, but by the time she got down to theatre, surgery had been delayed for hours and the cream had worn off, so they used a spray before they put the needle in.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 11-Sep-08 20:58:11

Just make sure that nurses do it, not doctors! (have horrible memory of 2 young paeds and a screaming 6 wk old DS). When DS was little I BF him whilst they took blood, appreciate this might not be an option...

RGPargy Thu 11-Sep-08 21:02:00

Pooky - i sympathise, it sounds horrific for you and your poor grandson!

wb - thank you for your post. I have just looked at the form that the doctor gave me and they are all (RAST) tests so looks like it'll be a pin prick! Hooray!!!!!

Misdee - what happened with DD1 and the peanut butter? Same thing as my DD or worse? Hope DD3's operation went well. xx

RC - No, BF not an option unfortunately. Hopefully it'll be a pin prick test tho (although saying that, i did ask the doc if they were prick tests or blood tests and he said blood..... hmm).

tori32 Thu 11-Sep-08 21:04:46

They use emla cream which is a local aneastetic put on both hands and covered with opsite clear dressing. It is left to numb the top of the site they want to use i.e. hands, inside elbow, foot. After about 30 mins usually they do the test and LO feels nothing. They usually use a small butterfly needle as opposed to a big long one. HTH I worked in theatres and on peads and although children cry it is not due to pain for this, just strange surroundings, but at 9mths should be fine. At 18mths plus more understanding so more tears iyswim. smile

DesperateTooDyson Thu 11-Sep-08 21:05:34

I think when they are younger it is easier because they do not know what is going to happen and it is over very quickley. Expect it to be a bit like an immunisation but slightly longer (by a few seconds though).

It is worse once they are 4+yrs and remember what happened before so anticipate that it will hurt, tense up, and struggle and make it all much harder to be quick!

tori32 Thu 11-Sep-08 21:06:46

Sorry, that was for full blood test. Pin prick no more traumatic than a normal injection- infact less painful because nothing is being injected.

misdee Thu 11-Sep-08 21:10:30


DesperateTooDyson Thu 11-Sep-08 21:22:45

RAST is a blood test.

I think a blood test is easier too as only one test.

Skin prick tests can be more traumatic depending on how many you have. My ds had about 15 on each arm. They put on a spot of the allergen and then 'pull' the skin with a needle to break it. As the reactions begin, the child is NOT alowed to scratch it for about 15-30 mins sad

RGPargy Thu 11-Sep-08 21:30:05

Tori - thanx for that, it's quite reassuring.

Misdee - Eeek at DD1! Hope you get it sorted very soon and find out if she's allergic.

DTD - ugh! Now i just dont know!!!! I hope she doesn't scream!! I'm sure she'll be fine tho. hmm

So why, when i google "butterfly needle" do i get images of a penis?!! shock

DesperateTooDyson Thu 11-Sep-08 21:46:32

RG that's sooo funny.

I can assure you, whatever your dc has, it will not involve penises grin

The RAST will be over quickley and your dd will not remember anything. You will though, of course! sad

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